An extract on #girls
The group's musical style is pop, but throughout their career they had experimented with electropop and dance-pop. Girls Aloud's collaborations with Brian Higgins and his songwriting and production team Xenomania earned the group critical acclaim, due to an innovative approach to mainstream pop music. The group became one of the few UK reality television acts to achieve continued success, amassing a fortune of 30 million by May 2010. Guinness World Records lists them as "Most Successful Reality TV Group" in the 2007 edition. They also hold the record for "Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group" in the 2008 edition, and are credited again for "Most Successful Reality TV Group" in the 2011 edition. The group was also named the United Kingdom's biggest selling girl group of the 21st century, with over 4.3 million singles sales and 4 million albums sold in the UK alone. In March 2013, after the Ten: The Hits Tour, the group announced their split.
The group Girls Aloud was formed on 30 November 2002, in front of millions of viewers on ITV's Popstars: The Rivals. The concept of the programme, hosted by Big Brother presenter Davina McCall was to produce a boyband and a girlgroup who would be "rivals" and compete for the 2002 Christmas number one single. Following the initial success of Hear'Say (winners of the original Popstars show), several thousand applicants attended auditions across the United Kingdom in hope of being selected. Ten girls and ten boys were chosen as finalists by judges Pete Waterman, Louis Walsh and Spice Girls member Geri Halliwell. However, two of these were disqualified before the live shows began: Hazel Kaneswaran was found to be too old to participate while Nicola Ward refused to sign the contract, claiming the pay the group would receive was too low. Kimberley Walsh and Nicola Roberts, who had made it into the final fifteen but not the final ten, were chosen as their replacements.
During October and November, the finalists took to the stage participating in weekly Saturday night live performances (alternating week-by-week between the girls and boys). Each week the contestant polling the fewest phone votes was eliminated, until the final line-ups of the groups emerged. The five girls who made it into the group were (in the order announced by the host) Cheryl, Nicola, Nadine, Kimberley and Sarah; Javine Hylton missed out on a place in the group, despite previous expectations that she would be placed in the line-up. The group was named Girls Aloud and were managed by Louis Walsh until 2005 when Hilary Shaw replaced him.
The new group competed with the boys' winning group, One True Voice to have 2002's Christmas number one single. Girls Aloud won the battle with their single "Sound of the Underground", produced by Brian Higgins and Xenomania. The song spent four consecutive weeks at number one and was certified platinum in March 2003. The song received critical acclaim; Alexis Petridis of The Guardian stated that "it proved a first: it was a reality pop record that didn't make you want to do physical harm to everyone involved in its manufacture".